Report: Lancashire v Warwickshire, LV= Insurance County Championship
Warwickshire batted throughout day four of their division one clash with Lancashire as the two county championship contenders secured a share of the points at Emirates Old Trafford.
A drawn game always looked inevitable after the visitors resumed on 52 for one with a lead of 82 runs, but there were still enough subplots to entertain the faithful with England hopefuls Dom Sibley and Matt Parkinson both taking centre stage throughout proceedings.
Lancashire hopes of unlikely win were raised early on when man of the moment Chris Benjamin was adjudged lbw to Parkinson for 42, ending a partnership of 63 for the second wicket with Sibley whose defiant defence was tailor made for the match situation.
The conditions were ideal too for Parkinson and the leg spinner cut a frustrated figure as a succession of turning deliveries evaded both edge and stumps as he settled into a mammoth spell of bowling from the Brian Statham End.
Sibley meanwhile reached his half-century and would face 167 balls before the 168th from Parkinson bowled him around his legs as he attempted a sweep shot on 57, leaving Warwickshire 129 for three.
With seam bowling not on the radar, another England contender in Liam Livingstone joined the attack from the James Anderson End and it was the all rounder’s spin that claimed the next wicket when Sam Hain hit a juicy full toss straight down sub fielder Richard Gleeson’s throat at cover for 48.
As the afternoon progressed, Parkinson showed no sign of stopping and Will Rhodes was the next to fall to what was probably the highlight of the day’s play as Luke Wells took a stunning one-handed catch at slip. The skipper had scored seven off 33 balls but with Warwickshire 173 for five and time beginning to run down there was little more to do than enjoy the September sunshine and the sight of two spinners wheeling away from both ends.
Parkinson, who would bowl unchanged for 40 overs throughout the day, did pick up a fourth wicket with a poor ball to Michael Burgess, who departed for 22 after hitting a delivery straight to Josh Bohannon, before Lancashire skipper Dane Vilas rounded off the afternoon with his first ever over for the Red Rose. The draw garnered 12 points for each county leaving Warwickshire top of Division One and Lancashire second with three games each to play.
Lancashire’s Josh Bohannon scored a brilliant 170 to steer his side towards a share of the points with Warwickshire as this opening Division One clash prepared to enter its final day heading towards an inevitable stalemate.
The 24-year-old batted from the start of play until just before 5pm in compiling his second century of what is becoming a memorable 2021 for the Boltonian whose season average now stands at 66.27 – numbers that are inevitably prompting talk of an England call up of some kind this winter.
Bohannon’s efforts saw the Red Rose bowled out for 341 after resuming day three on 100 for one meaning they trailed the visitors by just 30 runs with Warwickshire grateful for Liam Norwell’s six for 57 as they faced a tricky period of 19 overs before closing on 52 for one with a lead of 82 runs.
The day had begun well for Warwickshire when Luke Wells was brilliantly bowled by Norwell for 45, ending a second wicket partnership of 109 with Bohannon.Wells’ wicket brought skipper Dane Vilas to the crease and the South African proved a perfect foil for Bohannon, hitting five fours and a six on his way to a breezy 67, before he was caught at second slip by Rob Yates off Norwell.
That proved to be it in terms of meaningful scores for Lancashire with only Liam Livingstone reaching double figures of the remaining batters all of whom failed to deal with Norwell and the accurate spin of Danny Briggs. First Rob Jones was trapped in front by Norwell without scoring before Livingstone’s cameo lasted just 14 balls during which he struck three boundaries and left a straight one from the same bowler.
Not long after George Lavelle became Craig Miles’ only victim when he was lbw for four with Danny Lamb bowled by a Briggs beauty for eight. Tom Bailey, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson all did their best to support Bohannon who was four short of his highest first class score when he charged down the wicket to Briggs and was stumped with the former England spinner finishing with three for 78.
A fired up Mahmood continued his fine form from the first innings in clean bowling Yates for one before Dom Sibley and Chris Benjamin settled any nerves as the clock ticked down.
Lancashire fought their way back into contention on day two of their Division One clash with Warwickshire after an excellent display with ball and bat at Emirates Old Trafford left them 100 for one at the close.
The improving situation for the hosts was mainly down to an unbeaten second wicket stand of 94 between Josh Bohannon and Luke Wells, with the former reaching 59 not out at the close of play.Resuming on 259 for three, the visitors finally succumbed at around ten past three on the second afternoon after painstakingly making their way to 371 all out off 139.1 overs.
What preceded was four hours of attritional cricket during which leg spinner Matt Parkinson twirled away effectively for his three wickets supported by fellow England hopeful Saqib Mahmood who bowled his second highest number of overs in a day since his debut five years ago.
It was Tom Bailey however who made the morning session’s initial breakthrough trapping Sam Hain in front after he had added just five to his overnight score of 113.Will Rhodes followed soon afterwards, bowled by a quick delivery from Mahmood for 10, before Matthew Lamb and Michael Burgess dug in for a period of play as dull and grey as the Manchester skies.
Some levity finally came when Burgess, who had compiled 26 runs from 91 balls, tried to smash a Parkinson full toss to the leg side boundary but only succeeded in top edging it to Wells at slip ending a 50 run partnership for the sixth wicket.
The leg spinner then removed Danny Briggs sweeping for 11 with a far better delivery that was again caught by Wells, before Parkinson bowled Lamb for 36 with a clever top spinner that evaded the all rounder’s defences.
Mahmood then returned to account for both Craig Miles and Chemar Holder with the seamer finishing with figures of four for 77 off 28.1 overs alongside Parkinson’s three for 96 and Bailey’s three for 53.
With the overhead conditions continuing to darken and the odd delivery keeping low, Lancashire faced a tough examination and they immediately lost George Balderson out lbw to Norwell for 0 in the third over.
That brought Bohannon to the crease and while Wells dropped anchor, the Bolton-born batter began compiling a lovely knock that would see him progress to an unbeaten 59 from 128 balls by the close. Wells, who finished on 35 not out, survived a bad drop by Hain at short leg off Briggs while on 18, but it was Bohannon who really caught the eye with a succession of boundaries hit to both sides of the ground.
Chris Benjamin made a hundred on his Championship debut and Sam Hain hit his first century in red-ball cricket in 2021 as Warwickshire dominated the first day of their Division One game against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford.
The third-wicket pair shared a partnership of 237 and though Benjamin fell to Saqib Mahmood for 127 the visitors were still well placed on 259 for three when bad light ended play nine overs early with Hain unbeaten on 113.
The day had begun well for Lancashire when Tom Bailey struck twice in his first three overs, first by having Rob Yates caught at third slip by Rob Jones for four and then by trapping Dominic Sibley lbw for 3.
However, Mahmood who was released from England’s squad to make room for Warwickshire’s Chris Woakes, took no wickets in his six-over spell with the new ball and the other members of Lancashire’s five-man attack enjoyed similarly little success in a morning session that ended with the Bears on 77 for two.
The second-wicket pair continued their serene progress in the afternoon session and both batsmen seized every opportunity to punish loose deliveries. Benjamin reached his half-century off 119 balls and thus completed the remarkable achievement of having made a fifty on debut in all three county formats since being awarded a rookie contract at Edgbaston in July.
Hain reached his half-century in 118 balls and Lancashire’s hopes of making a breakthrough were further damaged when Matt Parkinson deflected a drive from Benjamin into his face and suffered a cut to his eye.
Fortunately the leg-spinner was soon able to return to the field but he was unable to make the breakthrough Lancashire needed and Warwickshire were securely placed on 192 for two at tea.
In the evening session Benjamin reached his maiden first-class century off 194 balls with his tenth four, a leg glance off George Balderson, and eight overs later Hain got to three figures for the first time since he made two hundreds in the match against Hampshire when he pushed Luke Wells for a single to mid-off. Hain had faced 198 balls and hit a dozen fours.
Benjamin was dismissed six overs before the close when he attempted to pull a short ball from Mahmood but merely skied a catch to Dane Vilas at mid-off.